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Hong Kong Embraces Crypto Trading as Other Jurisdictions Step Back

The city is set to introduce a licensing regime for crypto exchanges, including retail investors, as it focuses on attracting talent and infrastructure providers for its virtual asset hub ambitions.

Hong Kong

Tue, 09 May 2023, 14:33 pm UTC

Hong Kong is set to become more crypto-friendly, according to Neil Tan, the chair of the FinTech Association of Hong Kong. Tan spoke with Cointelegraph at the Hong Kong WOW Summit in March, stating that Hong Kong is "stepping forward" while other countries are stepping back from cryptocurrencies.

Starting on June 1, a licensing regime for crypto exchanges will come into effect in Hong Kong, which will include retail traders. The licensing guidelines are expected to be released in May.

Tan believes that if crypto is accessible in a legal and regulated way, then more people will participate. He pointed out that Hong Kong's securities regulator proposed allowing retail traders access to licensed crypto platforms in its licensing regime proposals for Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) in February. Currently, these platforms can only serve accredited professional investors.

Hong Kong is also focused on attracting talent and infrastructure providers to support its virtual asset hub ambitions. Both the Chinese and Hong Kong governments are taking action to support inbound talent. According to Tan, infrastructure to support crypto also needs to be in place for Hong Kong to realize its virtual asset hub ambitions.

Tan believes that opening the financial industry to digital assets is "just a natural progression" as cryptocurrencies "become a little bit more prominent." He also pointed out that more people are adopting crypto into their portfolios, and that "everyone is looking to get that type of exposure."

Hong Kong's move toward a more crypto-friendly environment comes as other jurisdictions have become more cautious about digital assets.

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